Mobility Training – Holistic Wellness For Your Entire Body

Mobility Training – Holistic Wellness For Your Entire Body

Hey there, fellow health enthusiast! Are you someone who values not just a healthy lifestyle, but holistic fitness and wellness for your whole body? If so, you're in for a treat because we're diving deep into the world of mobility training and how it can be a game-changer in your pursuit of health and fitness.

Blog Author Elena Health Coach at CARE
Elena Iagovitina

Health Coach

Published in Activity
12 min read · Oct 09, 2023

Hero Image

Table of content

If you are not a sporty person or even suffer from limited mobility or a decreasing range of motion, mobility training can be your first step to leading a healthier life with more freedom of movement.

Mobility training isn't just for athletes; it's for anyone who wants to lead an active, pain-free life and age mindfully and gracefully.

So, sit back, relax, and let's explore how mobility training can transform your life.

What Is Mobility, and Why Does It Matter?

Before we delve into the incredible benefits of mobility training, let's get a clear understanding of what it actually is.

Mobility training is a holistic approach to improving the body's range of motion, flexibility, and stability. It involves a variety of exercises and techniques designed to enhance your joint health, muscle function, and overall movement capacity.

Now, you might be wondering, how does mobility training differ from good old flexibility training?

While both training methods have their merits, there's a key distinction. Flexibility training primarily focuses on stretching muscles to increase their length, allowing for a greater range of motion in a particular joint. It's like loosening a tight rubber band.

On the other hand, mobility training goes beyond just stretching; it's a comprehensive approach that targets not only muscle flexibility but also joint stability, control, and overall quality of movement. Think of it as not just loosening the rubber band but also ensuring it moves smoothly and precisely in all directions.

Mobility training is about enhancing your body's ability to move functionally and efficiently, whereas flexibility training often stops at merely increasing the length of muscles.

So, if you're seeking a holistic approach that makes you more flexible and helps you move with grace and strength through life, mobility training is the way to go.

And what are the benefits of mobility training, and are they even legit?

What Are The Benefits of Mobility Training?

There are various scientifically proven benefits of mobility training. In this chapter, we have summarized the most important and outstanding benefits of mobility training for you.

Mobility Training Can Enhance Flexibility

One of the most noticeable benefits of mobility training is increased flexibility. As you engage in regular mobility exercises, your muscles and joints become more supple, allowing you to move with greater ease and fluidity. This newfound flexibility not only helps you in your sports endeavors but also in your day-to-day activities, especially for older people. [1]

Mobility Can Reduce The Risk of Injury

Picture this: You're in the middle of dancing to your favorite song when you strain a muscle. A mobility workout routine can help you significantly reduce the risk of such setbacks. By expanding your body's ability to move correctly and efficiently, you'll be less prone to strains, sprains, and other injuries. [1]

Mobility Training Can Relieve You From Aches and Pains

Are you tired of dealing with nagging aches and pains? Mobility training may be your solution. It targets those tight and tense areas of your body, releasing muscular tension and promoting relaxation. Whether you're struggling with a stiff neck, tight lower back, or sore shoulders, mobility exercises can provide sweet relief. [2]

Mobility Training Can Enhance Your Athletic Performance

For the sporty crowd, mobility training can be a secret weapon to take your performance to the next level. Better flexibility, range of motion, and joint stability can lead to improved agility, power, and speed. It's a game-changer whether you're a runner, weightlifter, or yogi. The same goes for people who have just suffered from injury or trauma and are looking for rehabilitation. [2]

Mobility Training Can Promote Mind-Body Connection

Well-being isn't just about physical health; it's about your mental and emotional state, too. Mobility training fosters a strong mind-body connection. As you become more attuned to your body's movements, you'll develop better awareness and control, reducing stress and promoting a sense of calm. [3]

Blog detail image

How Much Mobility Training Do You Need?

Now that you know about the many benefits of mobility training, you might be wondering, "How much mobility training do I need to see real results?"

Well, the answer depends on various factors, including your general fitness, your training goals, and your commitment.

However, a general rule of thumb is to incorporate at least 10–15 minutes of mobility training into your daily routine. This could be done as a warm-up before your regular workouts, during breaks at work, or even a relaxation routine in your evenings.

Over time, you'll likely start noticing improved flexibility, reduced pain or discomfort, and being able to move more easily and freely without the feeling of constraints or limitations.

Remember that consistency is key for mobility training. Gradual progress is more sustainable and effective than sporadic, intense efforts that might even lead to injuries.

So, if you want to increase your mobility, start small, be patient with yourself, and enjoy the journey to a more mobile, pain-free, and vibrant you.

The 10 Best Mobility Exercises – Workout Mobility

Before you begin to exercise your mobility, we advise you to identify areas of your body that may need more mobility. Think of situations where you wished to have more range of motion or where you maybe even pulled a muscle or strained an ankle.

Common trouble spots for most people include the mobility of the hips, shoulders, and spine.

CARE has curated the ten best workouts for mobility for you. Try these with a certified personal trainer or on your own.

The Hip Flexor Stretch

To perform a Hip Flexor Stretch, kneel on one knee, with the opposite foot in front, and bend at a 90-degree angle. Now, gently push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip, and hold for the desired duration before switching sides.

This stretch targets, surprise, tight hip flexors, which are often a culprit in lower back pain and limited mobility.

Meow, Mooh – The Cat-Cow Stretch

Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees, arch your back upwards while tucking your chin to your chest for the "Cat" pose. Now, transition to the "Cow" pose by arching your back downward, lifting your head, and looking upward, and repeating this flowing motion.

The cat-cow stretch is a yoga-inspired move that promotes spinal flexibility and mobility.

Thoracic Spine Rotation

In a standing position or even sitting, place your hands on your upper back, exhale as you rotate your upper body to one side, keeping your hips facing forward, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

The thoracic spine rotation helps you improve thoracic spine mobility and alleviate upper back stiffness.

That’s Deep – The Deep Squat

Start by standing with your right leg and left leg shoulder-width apart, then lower your body by bending your knees and hips. Keep your back straight and your chest up, until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as low as your flexibility allows. Now, push through your heels to return to the starting position.

The deep squat is a fundamental movement for hip and ankle mobility. Deep squats help restore flexibility and strength in the lower body. They are also great strength training for the following muscle groups: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core muscles.

Shoulder Dislocates – No, You Should Not Dislocate Your Shoulder

For a shoulder Dislocates, hold a resistance band or broomstick with both hands and your arms extended. Slowly raise it overhead and behind your back in a circular motion while keeping your arms straight, and reverse the movement to complete one repetition.

This mobility work exercise increases the shoulder mobility of motion by taking your arms through a full circular motion.

Glute Bridges

Doing glute bridges, you lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Then lift your hips upward by squeezing your glutes, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your knees at the top, and lower your hips back down to the ground.

Glute bridges activate and strengthen your glutes while improving hip extension, a critical component of overall mobility.

Calf Raises

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then rise up onto your toes by lifting your heels as high as possible and lower them back down to the ground to complete one repetition – Congratulations, you have just exercised a calf raise.

Don't overlook the importance of ankle mobility. Calf raises can help prevent foot and ankle injuries and enhance your overall body mobility in your ankles and feet.

A Yogi Favorite – Puppy Pose or Downward Dog

If you are on Instagram, it is hard to not know this pose. Whenever a dog stretches, people like to say “big stretch,” hence the name for this mobility exercise or yoga pose.

Start in a tabletop position, then walk your hands forward while keeping your hips over your knees, lowering your chest toward the ground, and stretching your arms out in front of you, creating an elongated stretch in your spine.

The puppy pose, also called the downward dog, gently stretches and opens up the chest, shoulders, and upper back, promoting flexibility and reducing tension.

Piriformis Stretch

Sit or lie down with one ankle crossed over the opposite knee, gently press on the raised knee to stretch the piriformis muscle, and hold for the desired duration before switching sides.

The Piriformis stretch is Ideal for those with tight muscles or hips because the stretch targets the piriformis muscle, aiding in hip mobility and reducing sciatic nerve discomfort.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

To do a wrist flexor stretch, extend one arm in front of you with the palm facing up, use your opposite hand to gently pull your fingers and hand backward, feeling a stretch in your wrist and forearm, and hold for the desired duration before switching to the other arm.

Often neglected, wrist mobility is essential. Stretching your wrist flexors can improve hand dexterity and prevent discomfort from prolonged computer use.

Other great exercises to reach your fitness goals include dynamic stretching, knee bents, push-ups, and static stretching.

Is Yoga Mobility Training?

Blog detail image

While yoga does not exclusively focus on mobility training in the traditional sense, it is undoubtedly a valuable component of any mobility regimen.

Yoga is often considered a form of mobility training, albeit one with a unique and holistic approach to enhancing flexibility, stability, and overall well-being. The main difference between traditional mobility training and yoga is that while mobility training typically focuses on improving the range of motion in specific joints and muscle groups, yoga goes beyond just physical flexibility.

Yoga integrates elements of strength, balance, mindfulness, and breath control into its practice.

In yoga, you stretch and lengthen muscles and work on balance and core strength through various poses, the so-called “Asanas.” These poses target different body areas, simultaneously promoting joint mobility, stability, and flexibility. Yoga encourages you to explore your body's full range of motion in a mindful and controlled manner, which can lead to increased mobility over time. [4]

Moreover, the emphasis on breath awareness and relaxation techniques in yoga is not typically present in traditional mobility training. Yet, it can help reduce stress and tension, which are often significant barriers to achieving optimal mobility. [4]

How to Track Your Mobility Progress?

Tracking progress in mobility training is crucial for staying motivated and ensuring you're on the right path to improved well-being. Even though many people notice first improvements after 10 to 14 days in their daily routine – like reaching certain things easier or being able to look over the shoulder pain-free while driving – there are practical and easy methods to track your progress.

Begin by assessing your range of motion in your key joints or of certain muscle groups. Use simple tools like a goniometer or even just your observations to note any improvements over time. Additionally, incorporate functional movement assessments into your routine, such as squat depth, overhead reach, or spinal flexibility. Record your results and watch as these movements become easier and more fluid.

Keep a journal or mental note of any lingering aches or discomfort in specific areas. As you progress, you should notice a reduction in pain and an overall sense of ease during everyday activities and movements. Pay attention to changes in your posture. Better mobility often leads to improved alignment, good posture, and less slouching or stiffness. [5]

If you're an athlete or engage in regular fitness activities, you can also track your performance metrics. Are you lifting heavier weights, running faster, or holding yoga poses with greater ease? These indicators can show you have increased your mobility.

You could also consider recording yourself performing mobility exercises or functional movements and compare these recordings over time to provide a visual representation of your progress. Seeking guidance from a mobility coach, physical therapist, or fitness trainer for assessments and expert feedback can also gauge your progress accurately.

Remember that tracking your progress is not just about numbers; it's most importantly about how you feel and move in your daily life. Since consistency is key, we recommend you maintain a regular mobility training routine, track your progress, and celebrate each milestone along the way.

Watching your mobility and overall well-being improve can be incredibly rewarding and motivating.

Mobility training has a significant impact on holistic well-being by addressing physical, mental, and emotional aspects of health. [5]

Physically, it enhances flexibility, reduces the risk of injuries, and improves posture and functional movement. It can alleviate chronic pain and discomfort while enhancing balance and stability, which is especially important as you age. For athletes and fitness enthusiasts, mobility training leads to improved agility, strength, and endurance. [1]  [2] [5]

On the mental front, mobility training promotes relaxation and stress reduction, particularly in practices like yoga. Mindful and meditative aspects of mobility exercises foster a stronger mind-body connection and better body awareness. This contributes to emotional well-being and a calmer state of mind. [3]

Moreover, reduced stress and improved physical comfort can lead to better sleep quality, which is crucial for overall mental health. [6]

Emotionally, regular mobility training releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters, leading to improved emotional well-being and a more positive outlook on life. Achieving greater mobility and physical prowess through training can boost self-esteem and self-confidence, contributing to emotional resilience. [7]

And how can we at CARE determine if mobility training has a good impact on your health? With our comprehensive blood analysis and the following consultation by one of our health specialists, we can determine correlations between some of your blood values and your lifestyle.

Mobility training can positively influence several biomarkers that we can distinguish through our blood analysis. Exercise, like mobility training, can help regulate blood pressure, and reduce the risk of hypertension. It can also enhance insulin sensitivity, making it easier for your body to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. [8]

Furthermore, mobility training can improve cholesterol profiles by increasing "good" HDL cholesterol and lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects, leading to lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood associated with chronic diseases. [8]

By improving cardiovascular fitness and reducing risk factors, mobility training and exercise contributes to better overall heart health. [8]

List of References

Blog Author Elena Health Coach at CARE

Elena Iagovitina

Health Coach at CARE Zurich

About the author

Elena is an enthusiastic Health Coach and blog writer at CARE, with a passion for holistic medicine and health. Previously, Elena worked for almost five years as a coach leading retreats, workshops, and seminars. These included mind-body therapy: breath work, meditation, and massage; as well as energy force therapy: reiki, and qi gong; and third expressive therapy: movement, writing and support groups. Elena shares exciting articles on the blog, on the topic of where the alternative and traditional medicine intersect with Western Medicine. Elena is also the driving force behind the CARE community. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling to remote locations and dancing. You might also see her on the lake of Zurich as a coast guard. Join her on her journey to learn more about health and discover the world of preventive medicine! Visit all articles written by Elena!